The foundation of Manavgat is not known certain, but estimated at B.C. 200-150. As understood from the early documents, cargo and human transportation had been made on the river, from the very first centuries till recent years. Manavgat has become a village of Turkish Republic at 1923.
The town Manavgat, which is 72 km far from the province Antalya. was founded on the plain that lies on both sides of the River Manavgat. The city center is 4 km far from the shore of the Mediterranean. The Northern part of the town is bordered by the Taurus Mountains covered with beautiful forests. The river Manavgat, which flows through the town, gives the plain fertility and richness. The Manavgat Waterfall and its delta are the most important natural richness of the town. The other natural beauties of the region in the South are the Sorgun Forest with pine trees and the lake "Titreyengöl", which was formed by alluvions that filled the delta of the River Manavgat.
In the Northern part of the river Manavgat there are the Lake of Oymapınar and Manavgat Dams. The Dams and its surroundings have a unique beauty. The plain of Manavgat, which is 2500 m2. is the most fertile plain of the province Antalya and is suitable for growing cotton, wheat, barley and 45 different kinds of fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables growing in greenhouse es in an important from of farming in the region. Greenhouse flowering has also improved recently. Trout is bred in some parts of the river. The history of the town is known to be very old and it is believed that the name Manavgat comes from the word "Munouwa" in the old language of luwi, meaning temple of Mother Goddess.
The place was supposed to be used as the sacred area of the Antique cities Seleukeia and Side in different period.
Seleukeia is near the Bucak Şıhlar Village , 12 km. North, East of Manavgat. It is one of nine cities named after Seleukos Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great in the 3 rd cent B.C. The strong city walls and good strategical position suggest that it was founded here to protect the coastal cities against the attacks from the north. Side was the nearest and the closest commercial partner of Seleukeia.
The Archaeological findings reflect the Roman art greatly. The city was still important during the Byzantine period but it was completely destroyed by the Arabs in the 7 th cent A.D. it was only a nomadic settlement afterwards.
Together with the water dams near by the ancient city Seleukeia can be great jeep safari sign for the holiday makers in Side. The 5 m high city gate in the 9 m. high city walls welcome the visitors into the well, preserved forum. This shopping center was surrounded by shops behind the Doric portico's on four Sides. The two great Hellenistic mosaics discovered during the surface research and excavations in1970's are displayed in Antalya Museum . In the Southern corner of the forum, the small building with six rows of seats was either an Odeon (music hall) or a bouleuerion (the town hall). The are the ruins of a small Byzantine church in the much older temple lie about 25 m. North of the Forum. Kapollo is thought to be the chief deity of the city in antiquity. A bronz Apollo statuette found in this area is now exhibited in Antalya Museum.
When you turn South at the 75 th km. of Antalya - Alanya main road a nice avenue winding through hotels and hauses for about 3 km will lead you to Side, the furthest city in the east of historical Pamphylia. Situated on a peninsula about 1000 m long and 400 m. wide, it fulfilled its duty as a commercial port.Naturally, Side used to be one of the most important trade centers in the antiquity and now it is one of the most popular holiday resort in Turkey. According to Strabon the ancient geographer, side was first established in the 7 th cen. B.C. as a trade colony of the Aegean city Kyme near Izmir But the merchants took up the local language, Side tan the name "Side" meant pomegranate, the fruit symbolizing abundance and fertility.
Like the other Pamphylian cities in general, Side was ruled by Lydia in the sixth cent. B.C. and Persia after 547 B.C. The coins minted in here prove that Side had at least an internal independence.
Alexander the Great conquered Side in the first year of the great campaign on Asia in 334 B.C. and was introduced to Hellenistic culture. After his death the empire was shared by generals. The Southern Turkey, including Side changed hands quite often , especially between the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt ( 3 rd cent B.C ) and the Seleucid dynasty of Syria ( 2 nd cent B.C ) after the apameia peace agreement between the Romans and thedefeated Syrian kingdom, but Pergama could not gain a complete control over Side. King Attalos of Pergama founded a new city, Attaleia ( Antalya ) as a commercial rival to Side and others on the South coast. At the turn of century Side was a slave-trade center in the hends of Pirates. It was only the Romans who stopped piracy on the eastern Mediterranean and let the southern Anatolian cities in ( Cilicia, Pamphylia and Lycia ) prosper again in peace and safety 78 B.C.
Pamphylia was attached to the provice of Galatia by emperor Augustus in 25 B.C. when all the provinces in the Roman empire were re-organised. Side lived its second birth and wealthy period until 3 rt cend. A.D as a Pamphylian city that was placed sometimes in Galatia, sometimes in Lycia. Especially its active role in the slave trade enabled this semiindependent city to gain wealth and most of the structures in ruins at present were built during this period of time. Side felt the necessity of repairing the defensive walls in the second half of 3 rd cend. A.D because of the successive attacks by the highlanders from the north. Furthermore, they built an inner wall right through the city in 4 th cent A.D. Unfortunately these precautions were not enough to secure those great days again and Side started declining.
SİDE IN MYTHOLOGY
One day, Accordinkes to the Anatolion Mythology, The God Taurus takes her youngest daughter Side, who had been The Goddes of nature and abundance, to the valley of the River Manauwa (Manavgat) for picking up flowers and making wreaths with the Nymphes (water-fairies) While picking up flowers and dancing with the Nymphes, Side, suddenly sees a tree with thin branches having shiny leaves and colourful flowers and breaks off a branch, to take it to her little daugther. As she breaks the branch off it starts bleeding. Accually, Side realizes that the tree is not a real one it is a Nymphe who has escaped from some wicked human beings and taken the shape of a tree. She is so sorry and so scared that she wants to go away, but she can't. She is stuck and she feels that her feet are bried in ground. Then her body changes into a from of a tree. The Nymphes are sad and they start crying. The Nymphes are sad and they start crying. The fresh roots of Side are watered with the of Nymphes. Side says that it was her fault and ask the Nymphes to take a message to her little daugher The message is as follows; From now on I'll be the symbol of nature, life and abundance with my blood-red rich fruit, I ask you to take my daughter here from time to time, to play in my shade. And warn her not to pick flowers and never damage trees on earth; because any of those trees could be a Goddes. This is why the peninsula of Side full of pomegranate trees
THE SİDE MUSEUM : With little restorations in the recent years The Side Museum wasfounded on the complex of the Bath which was built in the period of Romans. You enter the museum through the door in the East direction. Then you go into the stony courtyard which is known as the second tepidorium of the Bath.when you cross the courtyard you enter a big garden. Around the courtyard and in the garden you can see tombs, columns, busts, inscriptions, statues, pedestals and reciefs which were excavated from the city Antique Side, The garden of the museum is actually the courtyard is the Gym. The most important monument in the marble floored courtyard is the serial of friese which has the mythological tales of Poseidon, The God of Seas on the Northern Wall. In these stories the relation of The Gods and The Goddesses with the nature is being described. In the passages between the setions of the Bath there are coloured faiences.
HISTORICAL MONUMENTS IN SİDE:
THE CITY WALLS, THE GREAT GATE OF THE CITY, THE EASTERN GATE , WATER ARCHES , THE GRAND MONUMENTAL FOUNTAIN , KOLONNEL STREET, HOUSES, AGORA, THE MONUMENTAL LIBRARY AND THE STATE AGORA, THE PALACE OF THE BISHOP AND ITS BASILICA, THE FOUNTAIN OF VESPASIANUS , THE FOUNTAIN WITH THREE POOLS , THEATRE, THE TEMPLE OF MEN , THE TEMPLE OF BACUS , THE GREAT HARBOUR BATH , THE TEMPLE OF APOLLON , THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA , THE HARBOUR OF SİDE , THE HARBOUR BATH
Weather for Manavgat